Soldiers skip, hop, hula-hoop and jump to promote fitness

| February 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photos by
Sgt. Ricardo Branch
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

School and Army encourage healthy lifestyles for kids

Sgt. Tuvala Panapa (center), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, jumps rope with a student during the Jump Rope for Heart Program, Feb. 19, at Gustav H. Webling Elementary School.

Sgt. Tuvala Panapa (center), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, jumps rope with a student during the Jump Rope for Heart Program, Feb. 19, at Gustav H. Webling Elementary School.

AIEA — Soldiers from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command joined students from Gustav H. Webling Elementary School, here, to take part in  the Jump Rope For Heart program, Feb. 19.

The event, hosted each year at the school, brought the local schoolchildren together with 8th TSC Soldiers to participate in jump rope, hopscotch, Hula-hoop and skipping events.

“We’re here for two reasons: one, to help the community and two, to promote healthy fitness for the kids here at Webling,” said 1st Sgt. Curtis Rucker, company first sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th TSC. “This program is a great opportunity for Soldiers to teach the students to stay healthy and be fit.”

Soldiers from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command assist and cheer on a student as she progresses through the jump obstacle course during the Jump Rope for Heart program, Feb. 19, at Gustav H. Webling Elementary School.

Soldiers from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command assist and cheer on a student as she progresses through the jump obstacle course during the Jump Rope for Heart program, Feb. 19, at Gustav H. Webling Elementary School.

Jump Rope for Heart strives to teach and bring awareness to the consequences of unhealthy living, while promoting a better lifestyle in the next generation of Americans.

“It makes me feel proud that we take some time out to spend with the kids here and make a difference in their lives,” said Spc. Charmaine Drigo, 307th Integrated Theater Signal Battalion. “Being here lets people know that we care about what goes on in our community.”

In the late 1970s, Jean Barkow, of Milwaukee Riverside High School, held the first “rope-a-thon” with her local American Heart Association chapter.

Following the event, Barkow attended several public relations conferences where the message of promoting good health spread quickly across the country. Barkow’s rope-a-thon evolved into the modern-day Jump Rope for Heart program.

“It’s real good that the kids here are learning messages like this in school because it’s a good way to educate them about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle,” Drigo said. “When they get older, they’ll know what’s right and live healthier lives from things they learn in school.”

During the event, Soldiers took part in instructing the kids and in running, skipping and laughing alongside the kids through the different exercise activities.

“It’s a good partnership we have with this school and the community,” said Capt. Aaron Fegley, company commander, HHC, 8th TSC. “Soldiers really enjoy these types of opportunities because it gives them a chance to give back. Everyone from the 8th TSC volunteered to come out here, and you see it from the smiles on their faces. They are enjoying this.”

Fegley said that one of the goals for the Army is to show people what the Soldiers bring to the places they call home.

“Most people don’t really see these kinds of things when they consider what the military brings to a community,” he said. “Being a Soldier is more than what you see on television. It’s about giving back and bettering the place you live. That’s what our Soldiers are doing here at Webling, giving back and helping in any way we can.”

As activities ended, for the students and Soldiers the memories captured in the Jump Rope for Heart program will go a long way in promoting good health and the Army’s commitment to show they care about the community.

Tags: , ,

Category: Community, Community Relations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *